This is a
timeline of the and only includes events deemed to be of principal importance - for more detailed information click the year heading or refer to history of New Zealand List of years in New Zealand.
Prehistory (to 1000 CE) [ edit ]
mya: Around this time New Zealand splits from the supercontinent Gondwana [1 ] 5 mya: New Zealand's climate cools as Australia drifts north. Animals that have adapted to warm temperate and subtropical conditions become extinct
26,500 BP: the Taupo volcano
erupts extremely violently, covering much of the country with ignimbrite or volcanic ash and causing the Waikato River to avulse from the Hauraki Plains to its current path through the Waikato to the Tasman Sea. 18,000 BP: New Zealand's North and South islands are connected by a land bridge during the last ice age. Glaciers spread from the Southern Alps carving valleys and making fiords in the South Island. The land bridge is submerged around 9,700 BCE
Lake Taupo erupts violently. [2 ] [3 ]
Pre-colonial time (1000 to 1839) [ edit ]
1000 to 1600 [ edit ]
c1280: Earliest archaeological sites provide evidence that initial settlement of New Zealand occurred around 1280 CE.
[4 ] ~1300: Most likely period of ongoing early settlement of New Zealand by Polynesian people (the Archaic Moa-Hunter Culture).
[5 ] 1400~1500: Development of the Classic Māori Material Culture including expansion of Māori settlement from coastal to inland areas, increase in horticulture and development of
pā [ ] citation needed ~1400~1450: Most likely extinction of the
moa. [6 ] [7 ] 1576: Speculation exists
[8 ] that around this time Spanish explorer [9 ] Juan Fernández visited New Zealand although this is not generally accepted by most reputable authorities. [10 ] [11 ] 1300-1600:
Rangitoto Island, near Auckland, is formed by a series of eruptions. Although it is not expected to erupt again, the broader [3 ] Auckland volcanic field is. [12 ]
17th century [ edit ]
Expansion and migration of Maori groups and formation of classic
iwi (many still existing today)
Dutch explorer Abel Tasman sights the South Island. Initially he called it Staten Landt and changed it a year later to Nieuw Zeeland. [13 ] 18 December: Abel Tasman's expedition sails around
Farewell Spit and into Golden Bay. Dutch sailors sight local Māori. [14 ] 19 December: Four of Tasman's crew are killed at Wharewharangi (Murderers) Bay by Māori. Tasman's ships are approached by 11
waka as he leaves and his ships fire on them, hitting a Māori standing in one of the waka. Tasman's ships depart without landing. The Dutch chart the west of the [15 ] North Island.
18th century [ edit ]
April: Cook's second expedition arrives in
Queen Charlotte Sound 18 December: A skirmish at Grass Cove in Queen Charlotte Sound results in the deaths of two
Māori and nine members of Cook's expedition.
Cook returns to New Zealand aboard the
Resolution, accompanied by the Discovery captained by Charles Clerke. [24 ]
New South Wales founded, which, according to Governor Phillip's Commission, includes the islands of New Zealand.
An epidemic of
rewha-rewha (possibly influenza) kills 60% of the Māori population in the southern North Island. [24 ]
Early 19th century; 1801-1839 [ edit ]
Pākehā (European) women arrive in New Zealand.
1807 or 1808
Ngapuhi fight Ngāti Whātua, Te-Uri-o-Hau and Te Roroa
iwi at the battle of Moremonui on the west coast of Northland, the first battle in which Maori used muskets.
Ngati Uru attack and burn the ship
, killing all but four of its crew and passengers. Boyd Whalers wrongly blame Te Puna chief Te Pahi and in a revenge attack kill 60 of his followers.
22 December: British
missionary Samuel Marsden, of the (Anglican) Church Missionary Society, arrives at Rangihoua at Oihi Bay in the Bay of Islands to establish the country's first mission station. Sheep, cattle, horses and poultry are introduced.
Christmas Day: Rev Samuel Marsden held the first Christian service on land, at Rangihoua.
February: Thomas Holloway King is the first Pākehā child born in New Zealand, at Rangihoua.
Taranaki and Te Whanganui-a-tara regions by Ngapuhi and Ngati Toa people led by chiefs Patuone, Nene, Moetara, Tuwhare, and Te Rauparaha. 17 August: the country's second mission station is established, at
Kerikeri, when Rev Marsden, John Butler, Francis Hall and William Hall mark out the site which was previously visited by Marsden in 1815. 25 September: Rev Marsden plants 100 vines, the first grapes grown in New Zealand.
4 November: Chiefs
Hongi Hika and Rewa sell 13,000 acres (5260 hectares) at Kerikeri to the Church Missionary Society for 48 felling axes.
3 May: At
Kerikeri, Reverend John Butler uses a plough for the first time in the country. Hongi Hika visits England, meets
King George IV and secures supply of muskets.
Musket Wars begin with raids by Hongi Hika and Te Morenga on southern iwi and continue throughout the decade.
Ngati Toa begin migration south to
Cook Strait region, led by Te Rauparaha.
The battle of Te Ika-a-ranganui between Ngapuhi and hapu against Ngatiwhatua, resident occupiers of the land fought upon. It was a battle of Utu.
Te Rauparaha's invasion of the
South Island from Kapiti begins.
19 April: stonemason William Parrott begins work on the missionaries'
Stone Store at Kerikeri.
James Busby appointed British Resident.
Captain William Hobson sent by New South Wales Governor to report on New Zealand. He suggested a treaty with the Māori and imposition of British Law. New Zealand Association formed in London, becoming the New Zealand Colonisation Society in 1838 and the
New Zealand Company in 1839, under the inspiration of Edward Gibbon Wakefield.
William Hobson instructed to establish British rule in New Zealand, as a dependency of New South Wales. Colonel
William Wakefield of the New Zealand Company arrives on the to purchase land for a settlement. Tory
Colony and self-government (1840 to 1946) [ edit ]
22 January: New Zealand Company settlers arrive aboard the
Aurora at Te Whanganui a Tara which becomes Port Nicholson, site of Wellington. 29 January: Hobson arrives in the Bay of Islands.
Hone Heke is the first to sign the Treaty of Waitangi at Bay of Islands. 21 May: Hobson proclaims British sovereignty over New Zealand. The North Island by treaty and the South Island by discovery.
May: First capital established at
Okiato, which was renamed Russell.
St Peter's School, the first Catholic school in New Zealand, opened in Kororareka. [26 ] 18 August: French colony established in
Akaroa. Hobson becomes first Governor and sets up executive and legislative councils.
Rawiri Taiwhanga in Bay of Islands is running the first dairy farm in New Zealand, near Kaikohe.
Hone Heke begins the "War in the North". New Zealand Company suspends its colonising operations due to financial difficulties.
First electric telegraph line opens from Christchurch to
Lyttelton. First gold shipment from Dunedin to London.
War in the Waikato ends with battle of Orakau. Land in Waikato, Taranaki, Bay of Plenty, and Hawke's Bay confiscated.
Gold discovered in Marlborough and Westland.
Arthur, George, and
Edward Dobson are the first Pākehā to cross what becomes known as Arthur's Pass.
Capital and seat of government transferred from Auckland to Wellington
Native Land Court established.
Māori resistance continues.
Auckland streets lit by gas for first time.
Māori resistance continues through campaigns of
Te Kooti Arikirangi and Titokowaru. New Zealand's first sheep breed, the
Corriedale, is developed.
Te Kooti retreats to the King Country and Māori armed resistance ceases. Telegraph communication links Auckland, Wellington and southern provinces.
First New Zealand steam engine built at Invercargill.
Abolition of the provinces and establishment of local government by counties and boroughs.
New Zealand-Australia telegraph cable established.
Education Act passed, establishing national system of primary education, "free, secular, and compulsory".
First shipment of frozen meat leaves Port Chalmers for England on the
Te Kooti pardoned, Te Whiti and other prisoners released. Direct steamer link established between New Zealand and Britain.
12 August: Reefton becomes first town in the Southern Hemisphere to have a public supply of electricity after the commissioning of the
Reefton Power Station.
First Kotahitanga Māori Parliament meets.
Compulsory arbitration of industrial disputes and reform of employment laws.
Advances to Settlers Act.
Clark, Fyfe and Graham become the first people to climb Mt Cook.
Wreck of SS
First of series of colonial and later imperial conferences held in London.
Apirana Ngata and others form Te Aute College Students' Association. 
Old Age Pensions Act.
First cars imported to New Zealand.
Māori Councils Act passed.
Public Health Act passed setting up Department of Public Health in 1901.
"Red" Federation of Labour formed.
Penguin wrecked in Cook Strait, 75 people die. Compulsory military training introduced.
Stamp–vending machine invented and manufactured in New Zealand.
Waterfront strikes in Auckland and Wellington.
New Zealand forces take part in
Gallipoli campaign. Reform and Liberal parties form National War Cabinet.
Britain announces its intention to purchase all New Zealand meat exports during war.
25 April: First landings at
Gaba Tepe and Cape Helles on the Gallipoli Peninsula. 27 April: Counterattack launched by Turkish forces under the command of
Mustafa Kemal Atatürk. 20 December: Final withdraw of all troops from
New Zealand troops transfer from Western Front.
Labour Party formed.
Lake Coleridge electricity supply scheme opened. 10 June: Passing of the Military Services Bill introduces conscription.
July: Battle of Romani defaults Turkish force advancing towards the
New Zealand Division in the
Battle of the Somme. End of World War I.
Influenza epidemic in which an estimated 8,500 die. Creation of power boards for electricity distribution.
Prohibition petition with 242,001 signatures presented to Parliament.
All Black 'Invincibles' tour of Britain and France.
National public broadcasting begins under auspices of Radio Broadcasting Co. Ltd.
Unemployment Board set up to provide relief work.
Compulsory arbitration of industrial disputes abolished.
Unemployed riots in Auckland, Dunedin and Christchurch.
Reductions in old-age and other pensions.
Distinctive New Zealand coins first issued, see
New Zealand pound.
Reserve Bank and Mortgage Corporation established.
First trans-Tasman airmail.
Reserve Bank taken over by state.
State housing programme launched. Guaranteed prices for dairy products introduced.
National Party formed from former Coalition MPs. Inter-island trunk air services introduced.
Jack Lovelock wins Olympic gold and sets world record for 1500m.
Jean Batten's record flight from England. Working week reduced from 44 to 40 hours.
April: Federation of Labour unifies trade union movement.
RNZAF set up as separate branch of armed forces. March: Free Milk in schools introduced.
Social Security Act establishes revised pensions structure and the basis of a national health service.
Import and exchange controls are introduced.
General election, Labour re-elected.
1940 to 1946 [ edit ]
20 May - 1 June: New Zealand forces suffer heavy losses in the
Battle of Crete. 8 December: New Zealand declares war on Japan following the
attack on Pearl Harbor. Māori War Effort Organisation set up.
Pharmaceutical and general practitioner medical benefits introduced.
New Zealand troops in
First and Second Battles of El Alamein. Food rationing introduced.
Mobilisation of women for essential work.
12 June: First 5 ships of American troops from the 37th US Army Division land in Auckland.
14 June: First American
Marines from the 1st Corps Division land in Wellington.
Australia-New Zealand Agreement provides for co-operation in the South Pacific.
Full independence (1947 to 1983) [ edit ]
1947 to 1949 [ edit ]
1 January: New Zealanders become "British Subjects and New Zealand Citizens"
Referendum agrees to compulsory military training.
New Zealand gets first four navy frigates.
General election: National Government elected.
New Zealand troops sent to
Roxburgh and Whakamaru power stations in operation.
Regular television programmes begin in Auckland.
Government Service Equal Pay Act passed.
General election, National Government elected. Treasury leases New Zealand's first computer from
NAFTA agreement negotiated with Australia. Support for United States in
Vietnam; New Zealand combat force sent, protest movement begins.
Cook Islands becomes self-governing.
Naval frigate despatched in protest against French nuclear testing in the Pacific.
New Zealand's population reaches three million.
Oil price hike means worst terms of trade in 30 years.
Colour TV introduced.
New Zealand's national day 6 February renamed from '
New Zealand Day to Waitangi Day Matrimonial Property Act passed.
Pacific Islands "overstayers" deported.
EEC import quotas for New Zealand butter set until 1980.
metric system of weights and measures. Subscriber toll dialling introduced.
1976 in New Zealand television
Restructuring (1984 to date) [ edit ]
1984 to 1989 [ edit ]
Anti-nuclear policy leads to refusal of a visit by the American warship, the USS
Buchanan. 10 July:
Greenpeace vessel Rainbow Warrior bombed and sunk by French DGSE agents in Auckland harbour. New Zealand dollar floated.
First case of locally-contracted
AIDS is reported. Waitangi Tribunal given power to hear grievances arising since 1840.
20 November Archbiship
Paul Reeves appointed Governor General.
Share prices plummet by 59 percent in four months.
Māori Language Act making Māori an official language passed.
Anti-nuclear legislation enacted.
Lotto draw. New Zealand's first heart transplant is performed.
New Zealand wins
Rugby World Cup. Significant earthquake in the
Bay of Plenty. 15 August:
General election, Labour re-elected.
Number of unemployed exceeds 100,000.
Bastion Point land returned to Māori ownership. Combined Council of Trade Unions formed. Royal Commission on Social Policy issues April Report.
Gibbs Report on hospital services and Picot Report on education published.
State Sector Act passed.
Cyclone Bola strikes northern North Island. Electrification of the central section of the
North Island Main Trunk Railway completed.
New Zealand Post closes 432 post offices. Fisheries quota package announced for Māori iwi.
David Lange suggests formal withdrawal from ANZUS.
Jim Anderton founds NewLabour Party. Lange resigns and
Geoffrey Palmer becomes Prime Minister. First annual balance of payments surplus since 1973.
Reserve Bank Act sets bank's role as one of maintaining price stability.
First school board elections under Tomorrow's Schools reforms.
First elections under revised local government structure.
Sunday trading begins.
Third TV channel begins.
Māori Fisheries Act passed.
Government and Māori interests negotiate Sealord fisheries deal.
Public health system reforms.
State housing commercialised.
New Zealand gets seat on
United Nations Security Council. Student Loan system is started / Tertiary Fees raised
Government commits 250 soldiers to front-line duty in
Bosnia. Government proposes $1 billion cap in plan for final settlement of
Treaty of Waitangi claims. New Zealand's first casino opens in Christchurch.
David Bain is convicted of murdering five members of his family. First fast-ferry service begins operation across Cook Strait.
Imported pests Mediterranean fruit flies and white-spotted tussock moths cause disruption to export trade and to Aucklanders.
Kahurangi National Park, the 13th National Park, is opened in north-west Nelson. Waitangi Tribunal recommends generous settlement of Taranaki land claims.
First legal sports betting at TAB.
The commercial radio stations and networks owned by
Radio New Zealand are sold to Clear Channel creating The Radio Network. $170 million Ngai Tahu settlement proposed, $40 million Whakatohea settlement announced.
First MMP election brings National/New Zealand First coalition government.
America's Cup damaged in attack by a Māori activist.
TV4 begins daily broadcasts.
Customs Service cracks down on imported Japanese used cars following claims of odometer fraud.
Sky Tower is opened. Compulsory superannuation is rejected by a margin of more than nine to one in New Zealand's first postal referendum.
Jim Bolger resigns as Prime Minister after losing support of the National Party caucus, and is replaced by New Zealand's first woman Prime Minister,
Auckland city businesses hit by a
power cut lasting several weeks. The crisis of over a month results in an inquiry into Mercury Energy. The women's rugby team, the
Black Ferns, become the world champions. The National - New Zealand First coalition Government is dissolved leaving the Jenny Shipley led National Party as a minority government.
Several cases of tuberculosis discovered in South Auckland in the worst outbreak for a decade.
Hikoi of Hope marches to Parliament, calling for more support for the poor. The government announces plans to lease 28 new fighter aircraft but says no to a new naval frigate.
Prime TV launched
January: The name suppression of American
billionaire Peter Lewis, who was arrested and convicted of drug possession charges, causes controversy.
Interest accrual is removed from student loans while studying. Students who accrued interest prior to 2001 are still required to pay.
Air New Zealand bailout, government purchases a 76.5% share in the company
Labour enacts its election promise to remove interest on
loans to students living in New Zealand. [45 ] Five cent
coins are dropped from circulation and existing 10 cent, 20 cent and 50 cent coins are replaced with smaller coins. [46 ] The government announces a
NZ$11.5 billion surplus, the largest in the country's history and second only to Denmark in the Western World. [47 ]
South Island population reaches 1 million [48 ]
A magnitude 6.3 earthquake strikes Christchurch causing widespread damage and 184 deaths. 23 October: All Blacks win Rugby World Cup against France, 8-7 in Eden Park, New Zealand.
2011 general election: Fifth National Government re-elected to second term with reduced majority.
See also [ edit ]
References [ edit ]
^ "New Zealand breaks away from Gondwana". . 2 March 2009 Te Ara Encyclopedia of New Zealand . Retrieved 2 June 2010.
^ "Volcanic Zone". Destination Lake Taupo . Retrieved 2 June 2010.
^ a b "Historic volcanic activity – Eruptions in early history". . 2 March 2009 Te Ara Encyclopedia of New Zealand . Retrieved 3 June 2010.
^ Lowe, David J. (2008). "Polynesian settlement of New Zealand and the impacts of volcanism on early Maori society: an update". University of Waikato . Retrieved 29 April 2010.
^ Dating the late prehistoric dispersal of Polynesians to New Zealand using the commensal Pacific rat
^ TerraNature - New Zealand Ecology: Extinct Birds
^ TerraNature - New Zealand Ecology: Moa
^ Museum of New Zealand - Te Papa ref B.024210
^ The Vallard Atlas, produced in early 17th century by the French and held in a Los Angeles library vault contains the coast of the North Island
^ Transactions and Proceedings of the Royal Society of New Zealand; Vol 27, 1894. p. 617 "A statement exists that, as far back as 1576, Juan Fernandez., a Spanish pilot, sailed W.S.W. from Chili for the space of a month, and that then he came upon a fertile and pleasant land, inhabited by light-complexioned people, who wore woven cloth, and who were exceedingly hospitable. From the course steered and the time occupied on the voyage it has been concluded that this fertile land was New Zealand."
^ "New Zealand's volcanoes: Auckland". GNS Science . Retrieved 3 June 2010.
^ "Tasman’s achievement". . 4 March 2009 Te Ara Encyclopedia of New Zealand . Retrieved 2 June 2010.
^ "Abel Tasman". . 4 March 2009 Te Ara Encyclopedia of New Zealand . Retrieved 2 June 2010.
^ The Prow :The first meeting - Abel Tasman and Māori in Golden Bay
^ "Ngāi Tahu – The move south". . 4 March 2009 Te Ara Encyclopedia of New Zealand . Retrieved 2 June 2010.
^ "European discovery of New Zealand - Cook’s three voyages". . 4 May 2009 Te Ara Encyclopedia of New Zealand . Retrieved 3 June 2010.
^ "New Zealand Maps & Charts". NZ Fine Prints Ltd . Retrieved 3 June 2010.
^ Wilson, John (4 March 2009). "European discovery of New Zealand – French explorers". Te Ara Encyclopedia of New Zealand . Retrieved 3 June 2010.
^ Michael King, The Penguin History of New Zealand, Penguin, Auckland, 2003, p. 110.
^ John Dunmore. 'Surville, Jean François Marie de - Biography', from the Dictionary of New Zealand Biography. Te Ara - the Encyclopedia of New Zealand, updated 1-Sep-10
^ "Du Fresne Anchors". Archaehistoria . Retrieved 3 June 2010.
^ Te Ara Encyclopedia of New Zealand
^ a b c McLauchlan, Gordon A Short History of New Zealand Penguin Group, 2005.
^ Michael King (2000). Moriori: a People Rediscovered (Revised edition). Published by Viking. ISBN 0-14-010391-0. Original edition 1989.
^ Dinah Holman, Newmarket Lost and Found, 2nd edition, The Bush Press of New Zealand, Auckland, 2010, p. 247.
^ A. G Butchers, Young New Zealand, Coulls Somerville Wilkie Ltd, Dunedin, 1929, pp. 124 - 126.
^ Auckland's First Catholic School - And its Latest", Zealandia, Thursday, 26 January 1939, p. 5
^ E.R. Simmons, In Cruce Salus, A History of the Diocese of Auckland 1848 - 1980, Catholic Publication Centre, Auckland 1982, pp. 53 and 54.
^ a b c "Māori and the Vote". Elections New Zealand . Retrieved 18 May 2008.
^ "Key dates in New Zealand electoral reform". Elections New Zealand . Retrieved 18 May 2008.
^ Staff Reporters (15 November 1990). "HOURS OF TERROR END". Otago Daily Times. p. 1.
^ (July 1991) 51b Hansard, Resource Management Bill Third Reading, 3018-3020.
^ "Mighty Auckland". . 1 February 2003 The New Zealand Herald . Retrieved 17 June 2010.
^ "National accepts dismal result". . 28 July 2002. Archived from Television New Zealand the original on 17 June 2010 . Retrieved 17 June 2010.
^ "New Zealand Demographics". queenstownproperty.com. 2009 . Retrieved 17 June 2010.
^ "Barnett celebrates 'historic moment' with prostitution bill". . 26 June 2003 The New Zealand Herald . Retrieved 17 June 2010.
^ "Panel to recommend Supreme Court judges". . 16 October 2003 The New Zealand Herald . Retrieved 17 June 2010.
^ Young, Audrey (15 June 2010). "Foreshore plan opens door to Maori claims". The New Zealand Herald . Retrieved 17 June 2010.
^ "Civil Unions Bill passed". . 9 December 2004 The New Zealand Herald . Retrieved 17 June 2010.
^ "Maori Party registered" (Press release). Electoral Commission. 9 July 2004 . Retrieved 3 June 2010.
^ "Māori Television Launch". . Archived from NZ On Screen the original on 3 June 2010 . Retrieved 3 June 2010.
^ Longshaw, Jen. "2005 Election Results". Kiwi Herald. Archived from the original on 3 June 2010 . Retrieved 3 June 2010.
^ "Student Loans Information". . Archived from The Open Polytechnic of New Zealand the original on 3 June 2010 . Retrieved 3 June 2010.
^ "New Zealand Coinage Specifications". . Archived from Reserve Bank of New Zealand the original on 3 June 2010 . Retrieved 3 June 2010.
^ Television New Zealand; Newstalk ZB; One News (11 October 2006). "Govt announces $11.5 billion surplus". Archived from the original on 3 June 2010 . Retrieved 3 June 2010.
^ "Subnational Population Estimates: At 30 June 2007". . Archived from Statistics New Zealand the original on 3 June 2010 . Retrieved 3 June 2010.
^ "Retrial ordered for David Bain". . 21 June 2007. Archived from One News the original on 3 June 2010 . Retrieved 3 June 2010.
^ "Freeview launch to usher in new broadcasting era" (Press release). FreeView. 10 April 2007 . Retrieved 3 June 2010.
^ "KiwiSaver: what you need to know". . 30 May 2007. Archived from The Sunday Star-Times the original on 3 June 2010 . Retrieved 3 June 2010.
^ "I was only doing my job, says VC hero". . 2 July 2007 The New Zealand Herald . Retrieved 3 June 2010.
^ "Controversial electoral law passed in heated debate". . 18 December 2007 The New Zealand Herald . Retrieved 3 June 2010.
^ McKenzie-Minifie, Martha; Gay, Edward (11 January 2008). "State funeral for Sir Edmund Hillary". The New Zealand Herald . Retrieved 3 June 2010.
^ "Key says NZ election win a 'vote for change. '" . 9 November 2008 The New Zealand Herald . Retrieved 3 June 2010.
^ "Air New Zealand airbus in fatal crash". . 28 November 2008 National Business Review . Retrieved 3 June 2010.
^ "Helen Clark confirmed in top UN role". . 27 March 2009 The New Zealand Herald . Retrieved 3 June 2010.
^ "Dames and knights restored to NZ honours system". . 8 March 2009. Archived from 3 News the original on 3 June 2010 . Retrieved 3 June 2010.
^ "David Bain not guilty". . 5 June 2009. Archived from Stuff.co.nz the original on 3 June 2010 . Retrieved 3 June 2010.
^ "Tests confirm at least three have swine flu in NZ". . 28 April 2009 The New Zealand Herald . Retrieved 3 June 2010.
External links [ edit ]